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Indians

Volume 344: debated on Wednesday 1 March 1939

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40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of considerable discontent in Kenya owing to the threatened segregation of Indians; whether the Government of India has made representations to him concerning this; and what steps are being taken to deal with the matter and the cause of the hartal announced to take place on Thursday?

I cannot accept the implication in the first part of the question that any change in the policy or practice of the Government of Kenya in regard to Indians is contemplated. As my predecessor informed the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) on 9th February last year, no change is being made in the administrative practice which has been followed for the last 30 years as regards the acquisition of land in the Highlands. His Majesty's Government have been in constant communication with the Government of India in this matter, and full consideration has been given to their views. As regards the last part of the question, the Governor will no doubt take all proper steps to deal with any developments in the local situation.

Is there not considerable discontent on this matter of discrimination and segregation, which is precisely the material that is so useful to Nazi propagandists?

There is often discontent with policies from various sections of the community. I would only point out that this policy has been pursued to the satisfaction of separate Governments for over 30 years in this country, including two Labour Governments.

Does it satisfy the natives who have been driven off their own lands for the benefit of the whites?